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October 4, 2010 | by  | in Music |
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Of Montreal: False Priest (Polyvinyl)

If there’s one thing US indie-pop group Of Montreal can’t be accused of it’s being boring. While their overt experimentalism and surreal schtick can at times confuse, bewilder or just plain repulse, it is also this very weird experimental genius marred with madness (or vice versa) that can deliver moments of sheer ecstasy through the catchiest of pop hooks and resonating upbeat vibes.

Of Montreal sound as fresh and innovative as ever on False Priest, their tenth full-length studio album, with a twist provided by a strong R&B current which runs through the album thanks to the funked up basslines and dancier tunes, as well as collaborative vocals from R&B singer/songwriters Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles (aka Beyoncé’s sister). False Priest is possibly one of Of Montreal’s most accessible albums to date, feeling as though the crazy has been toned down ever so slightly (remember, this is a band who focused an entire album on a day in the life of Dustin Hoffman). While their distinctive, unique sound remains largely intact on False Priest, there is also a sense that Of Montreal are holding something back on this album, whether it be a jarring squawk or a weird story about a spider.

Kevin Barnes’ lyrics are characteristically sharp, witty and clever, vacillating from light-hearted and comical to gut-wrenching and sinister. Poignant lyrics about fighting a war against a suicidal depression are made even more unsettling as they are paired with lively beats and happy guitars. Barnes also has a talent for writing genuinely funny lyrics without becoming lame or tacky. This is exemplified on the narrative of ‘Our Riotous Defects’ about a failed relationship with a crazy girl, claiming he did everything to make her happy: “Supported your stupid little blog, got a bowflex, wore coloured contacts to match your dresses”. Barnes also deserves kudos for being able to pull off saying ‘yo’ and ‘playuh’ in ultra-fun, carefree indie-pop music.

3.5/5

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